Dr M: The rich can’t take advantage of new targeted fuel subsidy scheme

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad speaks to reporters in Parliament October 11, 2019, after the tabling of Budget 2020. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad speaks to reporters in Parliament October 11, 2019, after the tabling of Budget 2020. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

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KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 11 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has commended the new Targeted Subsidy Programme (PSP) for petrol as it will ensure that only the correct group will receive the benefit.

Addressing a press conference after the tabling of Budget 2020 in Parliament today, the prime minister said that the RM30 fixed amount which will be deposited into the accounts of eligible car owners will ensure that the rich will not benefit from the subsidy.

“The subsidy’s fixed amount of RM30 is deposited into the accounts of car owners.

“And they have separated the bigger cars from the smaller cars because we find that if we subsidise petrol when they purchase it, that will mean that the very big cars and the people with many cars will benefit from it,” said Dr Mahathir.

Earlier, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng told Dewan Rakyat that the qualifying criteria for the vehicles are a car with a 1,600cc engine capacity and below, or any car above 1,600cc which must be more than a decade old.

For motorcyclists, their bike must be 150cc and below or any motorcycle that is above 150cc but must be more than seven years old.

For eligible recipients of the Bantuan Sara Hidup (BSH), the petrol subsidy will be RM30 per month for car owners and RM12 per month for motorcycle owners.

The subsidy will be in the form of a cash transfer, deposited into the recipient’s bank account every four months.

The first payment will be made in April 2020 for the period of January till April 2020.

For motorists who are not eligible for BSH, they will receive a special Kad95 which allows them to enjoy the fuel subsidy at a discount of 30 sen per litre limited to 100 litres per month for cars or 40 litres per month for motorcycles when purchasing RON95 at the petrol station.

The Kad95 will be implemented progressively during the first quarter of 2020.

“Upon commencement of the fuel subsidy scheme, RON95 and diesel retail prices will be gradually floated. This will reduce leakages and cross-border smuggling of subsidised fuel which is estimated to cost the government millions of ringgit.

“The fuel subsidy will kick-in whenever the RON95 market price determined by the Automatic Pricing Mechanism (APM) is above RM2.08 per litre but no fuel subsidy will be given when the market-determined APM price falls below RM2.08 per litre,” Lim said earlier.

“The government will allocate RM2.2 billion for the proposed scheme which will benefit more than eight million motorists. Motorists in Sabah and Sarawak will continue to enjoy a fuel price ceiling of RM2.08 per litre for RON95 and RM2.18 per litre for diesel.

“Should the Sabah or Sarawak state government like to participate in the PSP, the federal government is ready to accept the request,” he added.

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